green copies: RPG Ricoh Ltd, an Indo-Japanese joint venture company recently launched the FT 4027, a user-friendly and eco-conscious copier. In order to promote optimum use of available resources, the company has built in an auto response in the copier, which turns on the machine when the user approaches and switches it off once the person walks away. All major parts of the photocopier are marked recyclable to promote recycling. The new recycling system minimises waste, thereby decreasing the quantity of toner required. The copier is priced at Rs 1,86,000.
clean remedy: Hitachi Ltd and 27 of the group's companies are setting their sights on environmental engineering. The conglomerate is a well-known designer of products for sewage disposal, smoke scrubbing and soil cleansing. The group has sketched a plan called Eco 2000, to provide integrated solutions to environmental problems. The company is targeting annual sales of US $2.7 billion by the year 2000. The group will develop techniques for resource-recycling and sewage-treatment and systems to turn waste into heat and electricity. The company has also developed a machine to break down ozone-depleting gases.
smokeless vehicles: Yet another electric car, developed by Toyota Motor Corp of Japan, will join the ranks of eco-friendly vehicles. The car runs on electricity generated by a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen in the fuel cell and its emission will consist of water vapour only. Germany's Daimler-Benz had unveiled the world's first fuel cell-powered car in May. The Toyota fuel cell system has an efficiency rate of more than 60 per cent.
antidote at hand: Hepatitis-B patients in India will benefit from a collaboration between the Pune-based Serum Institute of India (SII)and Smithkline Beecham of Belgium to manufacture Dtpw Hep B for the treatment of diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and whole cell-Hepatitis B. The companies would develop new vaccines and launch them in India and abroad in the next two years. SII supplies vaccines to 110 countries for immunisation programmes. Smithkline Beecham is considered a pioneer in the development of Hepatitis-B vaccine based on the recombinant-DNA (genetically engineered) technology.
kitchen to roads: Vehicles in India would soon be running on liquid petroleum gas (LPG), courtesy Shri Shakti LPG Ltd of Hyderabad. The company plans to launch LPG as automobile fuel in a year's time. It has already acquired the technology for the use of LPG as auto fuel in four wheelers and two wheelers. Owners will have to pay Rs 10,000 in case of four wheelers and Rs 1,000 for two wheelers to purchase the conversion equipment for running automobiles on LPG. The company plans to supply LPG to customers by charging a deposit of Rs 5,150 each.
tough things: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co of Japan has introduced a new line of notebook personal computers which can withstand vibration, moisture and damage from falls. Compared to Matsushita's conventional notebook computers, the ProNote FG series, is three times more resistant to vibrations and can endure the impact of a 70-cm fall, the company claimed. The new models will cost between US $3,580 and US $4,479. The computers' hard-disk drives, which are particularly prone to damage, are cushioned by a gel-like substance.
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